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The San Pedro SAGA Society was represented at the 2011 Caribbean Welfare Conference in San Juan Puerto Rico by two of its directors – Katia Marin and Heidi Sowards. The Humane Society International, with the support of the Pegasus Foundation, organized this year’s Caribbean Animal Welfare Conference (CAWC) in Puerto Rico April 3-5, 2011.

The 2011 CAWC brought together animal welfare groups from across the Caribbean for training and networking event seeking to solidify the work of animal welfare organizations in the region. The conference, held at the Verdanza Hotel in San Juan, covered critical issues such as changing governments' approaches to animal welfare, humane animal capture and handling techniques, responding to large cruelty events, and equine and marine species protection initiatives.

There were several international speakers at the event including speakers from Antigua & Barbuda, St. Thomas, Cozumel – Mexico and Belize – Mrs. Clara Lee Arnold of the Hopkins Humane Society. The San Pedro SAGA Society would like to thank Clara Lee for donating jewelry which she and her husband make themselves out of shells

Highlights included presentations on feral cat spay/neuter projects and ways to develop sustainable "cat cafés." Among the surprises was a presentation on shark conservation, during which the Shark-Free Marina initiative, which is based on turning conservation strategies into profitability for local communities, shared tips and lessons learned applicable to the business of caring for stray dogs and feral cats.

More than 120 individuals from 70 organizations and government entities traveled from 25 locations to attend the conference. Previous Caribbean Animal Welfare Conferences were held in 2006 in Antigua and 2008 in the Dominican Republic.

Belize representatives at the Caribbean Animal Welfare Conference - Clara Lee Arnold - Hopkins Society (left), Heidi Sowards -SAGA Director (middle) and Katia Marin - SAGA Director

SAGA Director - Katia Marin at the International Association of Canine Professional (IACP) in San Diego

Katia Marin at IACP conference.

Saga Director Katia Marin and Saga Volunteer Heather Beck also attended the (IACP) International Association of Canine Professional conference in San Diego April 7 to 9. This conference and trade show is for dog trainers, fellow professionals and all who love dogs. This conference brings together the best of the best from around the world.

At the conference there were several guest speakers including Wendy Volhard, Joel Silverman, Jeff King and the main speaker Ceasar Millan – The Dog Whisperer. Cesar took his own special brand of motivation and understanding to the conference with a presentation that inspired, educated, and was both interesting and entertaining. His presentation was followed by a question and answer session with the audience.

Following the conference the Katia and Heather volunteered their time to go to Best Friends Animal Society to work on some dogs at Dog Town Sanctuary.

Katia Marin at the IACP conference with the one and only Dog whisperer Cesar MillanHeather Beck (saga supporter & volunteer) and Katia Marin at Dog town

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